I preface this post with a note on 30-06. I love the caliber - it'll kill anything in North America however I don't personally hunt with the cartridge instead I busy myself in other calibers.
So the bolt action has stayed in my safe for some time until I was kicking around an idea with a buddy who was mentioning that he was shooting pigs on a high end game ranch and the ramifications if a bullet were to deflect through a pig to animals in the vicinity.
I've shot Polycase ARX and Sinterfire projectiles in the past however I have not tried them on game for fear that they will cause extensive damage to skin and bones without penetrating deeply enough to ensure a Dead Right There (DRT) kill. The ARX were not accurate for me in 458 Socom and the Sinterfire seem to break into dust too quickly.
I spotted the Lehigh Close Quarters ammo on their website a month ago and reviewed the load data on their website.
The highest 308 caliber they list a load for is 30-06 and a little light went off in my head, "Hey I have a bolt gun I don't currently use - why not make it a special purpose rifle".
By the way I think these would be great options for 300 Win Mag and they also sell a 338 caliber and I thought 338 win mag would be sweet but no load data for either so I'm playing it safe... for now.
So the concept behind how the test was structured is straight forward:
Shoot a hog or other game that you aren't concerned with meat damage and based on hitting the animal (all bets are off if you miss) the bullet cannot pass through the animal. There are plenty of situations hunters engage in regularly for which over-penetration can cause significant risk to property, other non-game animals, or neighbors.
My thoughts are that folks who hunt in cattle (dairy) farms around equipment or in open fields with irrigation pivots and ranches with tractors and equipment usually have to reposition themselves for a clear shot which can lead to missed opportunities or extensive time spent waiting for the game animal to walk into a clear position.
Not to mention the pigs who walk amongst cattle or those hunters who shoot off their back porch and hope the bullets don't veer into their personal property.
Anyhow I used a busted flat screen TV to represent the item of value based on the concept above and prepared two home depot buckets with newspaper wetpack.
The newspaper was soaked for two full days and then placed in the bucket and compressed with heavy objects, ratchet tie downs kept the pressure on the media until it was time to shoot.
The video below represents my findings with 79 grain Lehigh Defense CQ projectiles versus 180 grain handloads, I loaded the Lehighs to max loads listed using TAC powder which are stated to yield 3835 FPS.
One last note, I recall researching Remington Accelerator ammo which used a 22 caliber 55gr bullet in a sabot in 30-06 - accuracy was reported as lacking and availability is a problem. I noted accuracy at 25 yards with the Lehigh as hole on top of hole but will check these out at 100 yards next trip out and hopefully on a hog.
The Lehigh bullet performed as marketed, I did expect the walls of the bucket to be breached by the petals but that didn't happen. 8" of penetration at 25 yards into wetpack - I would suspect no more than 14" in game would be a reasonable assumption.
The 180 grain handload blew through 16" of wetpack and into the face of the TV carrying a significant amount of moist newspaper with it. The bullet must have struck the metal frame within the TV because it didn't exit the TV. Still it is reasonable to conclude that standard loads will penetrate twice as far into game than the Lehigh CQ bullets.
I have also been thinking and need your input/opinions on the following:
DO YOU THINK THE BALLISTIC ENERGY OF THE LEHIGH ALL GETS DUMPED INTO 8" OF VOLUME/SPACE WHICH CAUSES MORE VIOLENT EFFECT VERSUS STANDARD AMMO WHICH IMPARTS ITS BALLISTIC ENERGY ON THE SURFACE AND THROUGHOUT A LONGER DISTANCE OF PENETRATION THEREBY RENDERING LESS TERMINAL EFFECT IN THE GIVEN 8" ZONE OF THE LEHIGH?
Think about it based on what we've seen in ballistic gel, wound tracts that explode in the first 10 " of gel and then narrow down in the final 10 - 14" of bullet travel, if you were to section off the ballistic gel into 6" slices I wonder what the kinetic energy readings are of each section, probably less in the final 14" of travel - enough to injure and kill certainly but not a factor that hunters usually can capitalize on.
So with the special purpose of the Lehigh CQ in mind do you think it is pound for pound more deadly in the area that it enters and comes to rest?
Time will tell and I'll update this thread with results on hogs over the next year.